Patriots win last regular season game


The San Antonio Patriots’ Leo Galarse, right, takes off for a layup against a Talaabwogh Stars player during an earlier game in the MIBF outdoor caging at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The San Antonio Patriots closed out the regular season of Mariana Islands Basketball Federation’s Inaugural Men’s Outdoor League on a winning note after outclassing the Junior Ol’Aces, 67-62, last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

It was a come-from-behind victory for the Patriots, who faced a 43-54 deficit at the end of the third period. Sean Rabasto and Leo Galarse brought the Patriots back in the game in the fourth quarter and stole the win after combining for 13 of the team’s 24 markers in the final canto. Rabasto put the finishing touches on San Antonio’s successful rally after registering the squad’s last 5 points, including three crucial free throws.

The Patriots point guard went on to lead all scorers with his 16 markers, while Galarse also had twin digits with 10, 6 of them came in the fourth frame. Jaymark De Guzman and Shane Deleon Guerrero were the other double-figure scorers for San Antonio, tallying 14 and 11, respectively.

San Antonio finished the round-robin regular season with a 5-5 record to take the No. 6 ranking in the eight-team playoffs. The Junior Ol’Aces had a 2-8 mark and despite the loss it still caught the last bus to the playoff round after beating the Talaabwogh Stars and MGNEL Construction in the tiebreak. The Ol’Aces earned the No. 8 seeding and final playoff seat as it scored the most points (736) among the three tied squads. Talaabwogh and MGNEL collected 638 and 507 points, respectively, falling short in their playoff bids and joining Chinese Association for an early vacation.

The other playoff qualifiers were Ace Hardware, Ol’Aces, and Duenas Compound, which had similar 8-2 records, Saipan Apparel (7-3), GMI Market (6-4), and 5-Star Construction (5-5). Ace prevailed in the tiebreak for the top spot with its 812 points in 10 games, while the Ol’Aces slid to No. 2 and Duenas Compound dropped to No. 3.

The first round of the playoffs will have a single-elimination format, while the second and succeeding phases of the competition will be a double-elimination affair. Playoff games will begin on Jan. 9 with the top-ranked Ace Hardware meeting the Junior Ol’Aces and the Ol’Aces battling 5-Star. Other first round pairings (Jan. 11) are Saipan Apparel versus GMI Market and DC Compound against the San Antonio Patriots.

Patriots 67 — Rabasto 16, De Guzman 14, Deleon Guerrero 11, Galarse 10, Barbo 10, Espinosa 4.

Junior Ol’Aces 62 — Sakisat 12, Castillo 9, Onopwiy 9, Castro 8, Siech 6, Kabiriel 2, Atan 2, Blake 2.

Scoring by quarters: 13-21, 31-35, 43-54, 67-62.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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